park the bus

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park the bus (third-person singular simple present parks the bus, present participle parking the bus, simple past and past participle parked the bus)

  1. (soccer, idiomatic) To attempt to stop the opposition team from scoring a goal by playing extremely defensively and placing as many players as possible behind the ball.
    • 2011, John Williams, Red Men: Liverpool Football Club – The Biography:
      England goalkeeper Gordon Banks resisted everything Liverpool threw at him that day, as City parked the bus and banked on snatching the vital single goal and then holding on.
    • 2012, The League Doesn't Lie: The 606 Book of Football Lists, page 311:
      Dan is Head Groundsman at Swansea, who in 2011/12 won plaudits For their positive, passing game - showing that you don't need to park the bus as a promoted side to retain top-flight status.